LISTENER

Farren Joy

  • 30
  • reviews
  • 32
  • helpful votes
  • 48
  • ratings
  • Secondhand Souls

  • A Novel
  • By: Christopher Moore
  • Narrated by: Fisher Stevens
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,388
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,042
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,036

Something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone - or something - is stealing them. No one knows where they are going or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Death merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • a snarky slapstick sequel to A Dirty Job

  • By withherownwings on 09-24-15

Light and Funny, Not PG13 however

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-10-18

Started with “A Dirty Job” my first Christopher Moore book. Secondhand Souls is the Sequel to that and I liked it as much if not more since you get to revisit the lives of most of the characters from “A Dirty Job”.

  • Parasite Rex

  • Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures
  • By: Carl Zimmer
  • Narrated by: Charles Constant
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26

For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and the darkest shadows of science. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer takes listeners on a fantastic voyage into the secret universe of these extraordinary life forms that are not only among the most highly evolved on Earth, but make up the majority of life's diversity. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the parasite-riddled war zone of southern Sudan, Zimmer introduces an array of amazing creatures that invade their hosts, prey on them from within, and control their behavior.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I hate parasites but this book is cool

  • By Anton Quinine on 06-17-18

Fascinating and Horrible

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-18

The Book is a Biological Science gem. Parasitology (minus bacteria and viruses) as the author writes about shows itself to be an understudied but essential part of living organisms and ecosystems. The book was written in 2000. I’m curious to see if any of the authors contentions about parasitology, it’s centrality and potential for scientific breakthroughs have come to pass. Great topic written is very engaging style.
My only complaint: Literally, the last few minutes of the book when the author started talking about “Gaia”. Ok I’m hoping he was using Gaia as metaphor, not teleologically. Then right after that he makes this statement. “Parasites are expert at only causing the harm that is necessary. Evolution has taught them that pointless harm will only harm themselves” What? He is giving Evolution “agency” to “teach” parasites - ok, not to much guys or you’ll hurt your host? That is disturbing sloppy to hear from a Scientist. Richard Dawkins would not be happy. Beyond the overreach on Evolution his love of his parasite subjects seems to have temporarily confused him. Parasites are fascinating, perhaps essential, but they are the bad guys. Very few people would find the definition of “Pointless Harm” from a parasite as acceptable. Studying them is essential to stop the damage they do.

  • The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

  • How to Know What's Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake
  • By: Steven Novella, Bob Novella - contributor, Cara Santa Maria - contributor, and others
  • Narrated by: Steven Novella
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 484
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 442
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 439

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is your map through this maze of modern life. Here Dr. Steven Novella and friends will explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies, and conspiracy theories - from anti-vaccines to homeopathy, UFO sightings to N-rays. You'll learn the difference between science and pseudoscience, essential critical thinking skills, ways to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy co-worker of yours, and how to combat sloppy reasoning, bad arguments, and superstitious thinking.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Demon Haunted World 2.0

  • By Daniel Sean Osborne on 10-04-18

You are or are not Alone

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-07-18

Well done book. Some common knowledge already understood by those with a scientific background and some less common knowledge. Regardless of your interests or beliefs it’s hard to refute the challenge to be just a bit more skeptical. I didn’t agree with 100% of the Authors points of view (close but not 100%) but then again they wouldn’t necessarily want me to. The book deals with scientific skepticism which makes it easier to establish some ground rules. Works very well as audiobook.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Fallout

  • Conspiracy, Cover-Up, and the Deceitful Case for the Atom Bomb
  • By: Peter Watson
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 4

The atomic bomb was the unnecessary product of mistrust and deceit between World War II allies - resulting in a threat of nuclear war that still haunts us today. Peter Watson recounts this pulse-pounding story of military overreach, which led to the development of an unnecessary weapon that, once it existed, was inevitably going to be deployed. He shows how politicians fatally failed to understand the nature of atomic science and, in so doing, needlessly exposed the world to great danger - a danger that is still very much with us today. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fallout

  • By Farren Joy on 10-02-18

Fallout

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-02-18

The History part wasn’t bad but the conclusions seemed somewhat whimsical or just ridiculous depending on your point off view.
The degree of spin and gross historical omissions the Author needed to make his argument is staggering. I had to listen to parts several times just to make sure I heard it right. His conclusions go against everything I’ve read on this topic in the past and everything I’ve read or experienced firsthand on human nature. Conspiracy junkies will no doubt add this to their collection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Meaning of Everything

  • The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
  • By: Simon Winchester
  • Narrated by: Simon Winchester
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177

Writing with marvelous brio, Simon Winchester first serves up a lightning history of the English language and pays homage to the great dictionary makers from Samuel Johnson to Noah Webster before turning his unmatched talent for storytelling to the making of the most venerable of dictionaries: The Oxford English Dictionary.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A New Appreciation

  • By Donald on 11-01-04

Academia, Impossible Tasks, History, And Human Perseverance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-21-18

If your interested in History, Monumental works or just Dictionaries this is a great book. S. Winchester’s books take often seeming obscure topics and shows just how important they are.

  • Project Nemesis

  • A Kaiju Thriller
  • By: Jeremy Robinson
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,090
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,021
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,017

Jon Hudson, lead investigator for the Department of Homeland Security's Fusion Center-P, thinks his job is a joke. While other Fusion Centers focus on thwarting terrorist activity, Hudson's division is tasked with handling paranormal threats to national security, of which there have been zero during his years at the DHS. When yet another Sasquatch sighting leads to a research facility in the backwoods of Maine, disguised as an abandoned Nike missile site, Hudson's job becomes deadly serious.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Good Time

  • By Kim Venatries on 03-01-13

Godzilla Type Reboot But Fun

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-20-18

I’ve seen the Hollywood reruns and remakes of Godzilla and Company but I have never read Godzilla like monster books. So yeah this is not the most original topic for a book. Would not have given it a try except that I just got finished with the Author’s book “Infinite” and I really enjoyed it. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book considering the subject matter. The book was right out of the X Files and Godzilla reworked to give a very familiar bunch of characters just slightly altered. So original - nope, but since I liked the X Files and the Godzilla type movies the book was good. You do have to extra efforts to suspend belief at times during the story. Not with the Monster stuff but with the main characters abilities. One minute he’s an absent minded, disgruntled DHS worker then he’s a combo of Jason Bourne and Macgyver. If your ok with that kind of stuff you should enjoy the book.

  • Island 731

  • By: Jeremy Robinson
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,259
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,097
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,097

Mark Hawkins, former park ranger and expert tracker, is out of his element, working onboard the Magellan, a research vessel studying the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But his work is interrupted when, surrounded by 30 miles of refuse, the ship and its high-tech systems are plagued by a series of strange malfunctions and the crew is battered by a raging storm. When the storm fades and the sun rises, the beaten crew awakens to find themselves anchored in the protective cove of a tropical island...and no one knows how they got there.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting fun story

  • By Rise on 01-24-16

Ok to Skip this One

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-20-18

I’ve read 3 other books by the author and this is by far the least interesting. Not sure why as the subject matter is just as imaginative as his other stuff just got bored with it. The book has a lot of good reviews on Audible but the story seemed flat. Since the author is incredibly prolific I’d skip this one and try some of his others. This is noted as Book 0 of his Nemesis Series. This has almost nothing to do with Book 1 of his Nemesis Series (which was very good) so your not missing out on anything by skipping this.

  • Forbidden Island

  • By: Jeremy Robinson
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 414
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 379
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 376

On the precipice of a cliff, contemplating suicide, dishonorably discharged US Army Ranger Rowan Baer is invited to provide security to a research team visiting the most dangerous island in the world - North Sentinel Island in the Sea of Bengal. Seeking redemption, he accepts. Living among Amazon rainforest tribes, eccentric Israeli anthropologist Talia Mayer is recruited to study the island's elusive inhabitants - the Sentinelese - who have resided on the tropical island since the dawn of mankind.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Struggled throughout

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-09-18

Unexpected storyline

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-20-18

This is 1st book by this author I have read. Sort of clunky characters but the interesting and bizarre storyline makes up for that. It may not be great Literature but the author has quite the imagination. About 1/2 way thru the book it seems like the story is wrapped up but then it takes an unforeseen twist and goes on for another 4 hours. Good fun read.

  • In Defense of History

  • By: Richard J. Evans
  • Narrated by: Julian Elfer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 10

Richard J. Evans shows us how historians manage to extract meaning from the recalcitrant past. To materials that are frustratingly meager, or overwhelmingly profuse, they bring an array of tools that range from agreed-upon rules of documentation to the critical application of social and economic theory, all employed with the aim of reconstructing a verifiable, usable past. Evans defends this commitment to historical knowledge from the attacks of postmodernist critics who deny the possibility of achieving any kind of certain knowledge about the past. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enlightening

  • By Farren Joy on 07-03-18

Enlightening

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-18

I have had no formal training in the field of writing History but I enjoy reading History. I am in awe of Evans after reading his Trilogy on the Third Reich. From my armchair I have observed some Historians can write about topics I had little or no interest before starting and keep me up all night, while others, even when writing on my favorite topics can put me to sleep in a page or two. Evans’ keeps me up all night. This book is the perfect example. A book on writing history - boring right? Nope, even this book was a page turner. I was surprised to find that historians are in crisis (or at least some are). Like Fake or Blatantly Biased News is destroying Journalistic integrity, Fake History or Blatantly Biased History is an equally big problem. I though for an Academic Historian - objectivity, attention to detail, and a gift for writing, even if limited, were prerequisites. A History book should stand up to fact checking and peer review and have a talented editor. Just the basics. Every “Professional” should have certain training and guidelines. For example your family Doctor - You should expect at a minimum that they have gone to Medical School, Residency, and completed a Board Exam. Yes it is reasonable to expect they passed all of them. Your would expect your Doctors colleagues and the relevant State and Federal licensing Organizations to approve of your Doctors practices. It’s no shock to find out some Historians plagiarize, outright lie, are incompetent, lazy, boring, or even crazy. Not all Doctors are perfect so you would expect not all Historians to be perfect either. Still there are minimal standards. Recently like Evans points out I have noticed some really bad History Books. Books that seem to lack any attempt at objectivity. It is probably impossible to be totally objective when it comes to History. Everyone knows that. Regardless the Historian is supposed to try - right? Apparently not. In a few books author’s have actually stated in the introduction that they have an agenda and anything you’ve ever read before that, if it goes against their agenda is a lie, a coverup, a conspiracy. I appreciate that kind of honesty since that alerts me that the book is more opinion piece than History and I need not waste time on it. I assumed these occasional books were written by self publishing fringe dwellers and destined for the bargain rack on eBay. Apparently the problem is bigger than a few outliers. The problem is big enough to have a major Historian of Evans stature write an entire book about it. In a culture where most of us learn History from Hollywood - be it John Wayne or Oliver Stone, it’s hard for us amateurs to know fact from propoganda. Evans gives us some of the major issues and examples in a book that is quite entertaining and enlightening. I would love to hear what some of the “Historians” he calls out have to say. What are we supposed to think when Academics state - paraphrased - “The Holocaust never happened and if it did we can’t really know i did?” How can any reasonable person, never mind an academic encourage this kind of absurdity? Evans is much kinder to the Post Modernist Historians than I would be. On the surface Post Modernist’s appear to offer nothing but contrariness. It’s refreshing when someone thinks outside the box but Post Modernist’s don’t believe there is a box to think outside of. I have to admit maybe I just don’t understand Post Modernism when it comes to History. Apparently neither does Evans so I’m not going to worry to much about it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War

  • By: Mark E. Stille
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) was the third most powerful navy in the world at the start of World War II and came to dominate the Pacific in the early months of the war. This was a remarkable turnaround for a navy that only began to modernize in 1868. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War details the Japanese ships which fought in the Pacific and examines the principles on which they were designed, how they were armed, when and where they were deployed, and how effective they were in battle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Technical Reference

  • By Dale H. Reeck on 06-09-18

More Encyclopedic Synopsis Than Story But Very Good

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-18

Great book on IJN ships. It’s more a History Of Individual ships and their fates than a narrative of the IJN in the Pacific War. Listening to a book based on that premise sounds like it would be quite dry, surprisingly the opposite was true. When I finished I felt the book was over much to soon - a rarity for me. I am already familiar with many of the ships covered or at least the results of the battles they were in from the multitude of General Histories Of The Pacific Naval War I have read in the past. The Author’s approach of covering the ships themselves- famous and not so famous - as opposed to an overall view of the war itself allowed him to include a lot of new (at least for me) information on the specific ships of the IJN. There is a lot of information packed in a relatively small book. If you are interested in the big picture of the IJN in WW2 this is not the book. Highly recommendable to those who want more specifics on the ships themselves.